Uche Abanulo, a prominent professor, devout Christian and loving mother and wife, passed away the day after Thanksgiving at the heart-breaking age of 35.
“It wasn’t expected. It came as a huge shock,” said Dr. Jude Abanulo, CEO of STEM Afterschool Academy.
Uche is survived by three kids and her husband, who she met through an exchange of emails back in 1997.
“At that point, I made up my mind that I was going to marry this lady without even meeting her,” said Abanulo.
From then on, their story continued to grow, seemingly straight from a fairytale.
“There was nothing we felt we couldn’t accomplish together,” said Abanulo.
“She was both really fierce and funny at the same time,” said Craig Garrison-Mogren, Professor at Montgomery College. “Everyone will say that smile just knocks you out.”
Garrison-Mogren, a colleague of Uche, said her passion for STEM was contagious as a professor of engineering, physics and numerical methods at Montgomery College.
In a field dominated by men, she served as a role model demonstrating the possibilities for girls.
“Someone with that much presence, not there, you feel it,” said Garrison-Mogren.
And just weeks before Christmas, the blow was especially hard.
But, nearly 400 members of the community banded together to help perpetuate Uche’s legacy, raising more than $35,000 in just a few weeks.
“It’s a reflection of the number of people Uche was able to touch and reach because she was very selfless,” said Abanulo.
The money will help Dr. Jude Abanulo provide a life rich of education for their kids, just like Uche always dreamed of.